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13 May 2008 @ 08:43 am
I have arrived!  
As a writer of fic. And amazingly, it is through the still-baby-fandom of SCC.

Years ago, I wrote my first real fic and posted it online for all to see - it was Illusions, in the Alias-verse. Now, it might have been my first real fanfic, but I'd already been writing my own stuff for years before, so it was hardly my first story. (And I confess, back in middle school I wrote what could kindly be considered fanfic in Mead spiral bound notebooks. It was dreadful, but still playing in someone else's world with someone else's characters.)

Illusions was a milestone in Rhien's writing for many reasons - it was my first time playing around in a contemporary, real world setting (well, as real as TV gets), and my first time tossing something I'd written out there for hoards of complete strangers to read, especially when those complete strangers had access to immediate feedback - (back then, it was pre-Livejournal, and feedback was done via e-mail.) And it was my first time writing smut.

Alias was also a much bigger fandom even then (early S2) than SCC has even thought of being yet. We had a ton of message board sites (that was where you went to hang with like minded fandom folks back then), fic archives, and thousands of stories already up at FF.net. Of course, none of them were Sarkney stories. When I wrote Illusions, I was writing a pairing only a few crazy bitches devoted Sark fans wanted to read. We were small, but fanatic and quite vocal in our love of Sark and his pairing with almost anyone, although Sarkney quickly became the OTP for most of us. So, initially, I was writing an unpopular pairing. And then later, after Sarkney exploded by the end of S2, and there were hundreds of us (or more. I'm always a little bemused at how suddenly popular Sarkney became) my fic was considered "old school Sarkney", from the days before Sark had a first name on the show.

Why am I bringing up all this history? Well, because I'm rather astounded that in all that time, as large as Alias fandom was, I can't remember a single negative review or e-mail about any of the Illusions fic. But now, in the still small fandom of Terminator: SCC, I have officially received my first negative feedback as a fic writer! I have this thing about feedback. Sure, being told your story is awesome and you're a great writer is fantastic, but look at all the authors you absolutely love. Go read their reviews on Amazon. Chances are, they've got some one or two star reviews amongst all the fours and fives. Chances are, someone has thought their work awful, and said so. To me, when an author has both glowing and negative reviews, that means that even when someone doesn't like their work, they felt strongly enough about it to have to say something. Reading it affected them. Well, at least that's the attitude I'm going to try to have as a writer, because I know negative reviews are bound to happen.

Still, I could wish this reviewer had been a little less clever, and a little more specific. A bunch of authors recently posted their one star reviews from Amazon, and one of them (I can't remember which now, as I read a bunch) talked about how, after she's done crying into her pillow and all that emotional stuff that is bound to happen (yes, writers have feelings), she tries to look at her negative reviews objectively and learn something from them. And, well, I can't see what I can learn from this:

Funny Quote:

If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.


At first, I thought this was anonymous, but she signed it with a link to her (I'm guessing, because why would someone link a journal not theirs?) non-LJ journal. I thought about commenting back, but really, what do you say to that? What does that even mean? If I had better tools? Like what, a nicer computer? A more ergonomic keyboard? Or wait, does she mean better tools as in better craft? But how would better writing craft "more effectively demonstrate my total incompetence"? Doesn't getting better at something mean becoming more competent?

So, no. I'm not really seeing what I can learn here, from a writing standpoint.

And I have to be honest. My first thought upon reading this, first thing this morning, was complete incredulity. Sure, I sometimes have confidence issues. What writer doesn't? What artist, for that matter? But deep down, I know I'm a good writer. I don't think I'm the best thing since sliced bread, or anything, but of all the dubious talents or skills I have in this life, writing is the one I take the most pride in, the one I have the most personal confidence in. I didn't realize how much until I read this, and my first (still sleep addled) thought was "Okay, what the heck does this Funny Quote have to do with my Derek/Sarah fic? Did they leave it randomly? Did they leave it on the wrong post?" And then some of the sleep fog lifted, and I realized "Oh, wait, they're being clever with this - this is supposed to be a negative review of the fic!" And then I laughed.

Yes, I know how that sounds, but I did. Because wow, if I find something totally incompetent, I sure as heck am not going to read it all the way to the end (the comment was left on Part 2 of the almost 10K word fic) and even more, I'm not going to tell the person whose fic I'm no longer reading that I found them completely incompetent as a writer. What good does that do? How does that help them, or me?

Anyway, the conclusion I have come to is this: I've obviously arrived, as a fic writer at least. It's no one star review on Amazon, but hey, those are just a matter of time.
 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
 
"Connoisseurs of Difficulty"kistha on May 13th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
How very very strange.

Some people just have this need....
rhienellethrhienelleth on May 13th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
Strange, indeed. I do not get why you would suffer through reading something you clearly disliked that much, and then not even say what about it, precisely, you didn't like. I confess, I'm baffled.
"Connoisseurs of Difficulty"kistha on May 13th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC)
It's that whole better than you, lets abuse each other crap that floods the writing world. She who bitches/snarks the most wins!

Seriously. Say something useful and concrete or just move along.

I'd reply with something along the lines of "Ah, thy wit, it would slay me, if only you had a point."
rhienellethrhienelleth on May 13th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, I like that! Though I think I'll just ignore it, in the end. It does make me wonder if she's commented to any other SCC writers.
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: OTP with gunssabaceanbabe on May 13th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC)
Wait a minute. I missed a Derek/Sarah fic? Where? I want to read it!

rhienellethrhienelleth on May 13th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
LOL - I think I posted it just before the whole SCC-friending thing happened. Part 1 is here, and links to Part 2. It was too long for LJ to post as one piece.
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: Yay!sabaceanbabe on May 13th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC)
Awesome. Thank you!

I'm not very far along in Nemesis, but I really like your writing style.

*scurries off to read SCC fic*
rhienellethrhienelleth on May 13th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
Welcome! And thank-you, I'm so glad you're enjoying Nemesis so far. :-)
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: Derek is not amusedsabaceanbabe on May 13th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
:D

And, having just finished Secrets, I can only conclude that your anonymouse is a twit.
rhienellethrhienelleth on May 13th, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :D

Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I have to admit I think an unnecessary line was crossed in the way she stated hers. I might have been able to laugh it off, but there are writers out there who would take something like that to heart.
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: Funny fandomsabaceanbabe on May 13th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
I know. My very first fic (in fact, the first story I ever wrote, period) broke a lot of fanfic rules, but not only did I not know any better (what the frak is MPREG? LOL!), it was Farscape, which is just MADE to break rules. While most people liked it and were very encouraging to a newbie writer, one person told me I was an idiot and tried to give me an anatomy lesson. If it weren't for the fact that my beta was, in fact, an MD and that I had researched extensively to make sure it was plausible, if not actually possible, I probably would never have written another word. If I got a review like that NOW, I could make note of it for future reference and blow it off as someone making a knee-jerk reaction, but back then? That could have been devastating, given some of my self-confidence issues.

But to leave an anonymous review that has nothing of constructive criticism? Useless and more than a little rude, even if they were TRYING to be cute.
rhienelleth: farscapepromise - monanotlisarhienelleth on May 13th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
(Ah, Farscape, how I <3 thee!)

Wow, I'm really glad that reviewer didn't turn you off writing forever! That's the kind of crap I just despise. People can be constructive without being rude, or even cruel.

On a completely OT note (sort of), I didn't find Farscape until after all four seasons had aired and the PW was coming to Skiffy. I watched their marathon the week before, and because of this, saw nearly all of S3 in one day.

I sobbed almost the entire time, and have henceforth referred to it as "the Season of Death".

I've also never felt tempted to write FS fic, largely because that show was so awesome, it fulfilled all of my expectations and wants and needs in canon. Maybe if I'd watched it as it aired, I would have felt differently, but mainlining it was a frelling emotional rollercoaster. It remains one of my favorite shows of ever.
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: John and Aerynsabaceanbabe on May 13th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
It was my first fandom and I didn't start watching it until the beginning of season 4. I got hold of DVDs and VHS tapes as I could for the eps I'd missed and read recaps of the ones I couldn't find to watch. I never even thought of writing fic for it until I watched the last ep and I just couldn't let it end at that. Especially since, back then, we didn't know we were getting PK Wars. (I was one of those people who fought long and hard and even sent in bras to skiffy to get my show back.)
rhienellethrhienelleth on May 13th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can DEFINITELY see how that ending would have inspired fic! You guys set the bar for all of fandom when it comes to supporting one's show. I admit, I campaigned for Firefly, but I think it was a lot of Joss's own perseverance that gave us Serenity. Farscape definitely owes the PK Wars to the fans who wouldn't give up.
Ellequiet_elle on May 13th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
aww hun :(

but i dont understand the comment? Its an odd one, if they were going to critise they could have at least done it constructivly.

-i just cant believe someone doesnt like your writing-

indie: Big Lebowski Dude OMGindiefic on May 14th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
SCC is the little fandom that could ...

/sarcasm

Not that I don't love my itty bitty Terminator fandom. Because I do. *hugs tight* But yeah, 8 years in multiple fandoms and it was in the SCC fandom that I was plagiarized for the first time.

SCC Fandom
tiny size
infinitely more wank

Edited at 2008-05-14 02:28 pm (UTC)